Leading American and Tunisian scholars and experts will come together for a conference at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) March 5 to discuss and debate the Islamist-led democratic transition in Tunisia.
Tunisia was chosen as the conference’s focus because of its role as the birthplace of the Arab Spring revolutions. The conference is organized by JHU, the DC-based Maghreb Center, and the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES).
Key topics will include the ongoing drafting of the new constitution, human rights, women’s rights, freedom of press, and the economic challenges.
Tunisian figures like Alaya Allani, professor of history at Manouba University in Tunis, and Ghazi Gherairi, secretary general of the International Academy for Constitutional Law (AIDC), will participate in the event.
Allani will discuss the role of the ruling Ennahdha party and Salafist movements in Tunisia; Gherairi will speak about the constitutional drafting process and the obstacles to the democratic transition in Tunisia.
Allani told Tunisia Live that his talk will consist of evaluating the Islamist-led government during the transitional period.
“As long as I am an apolitical scholar, I will try to be objective in my evaluation, that is to say: to state the positive points and the negative ones,” he said.
The Maghreb Center is an independent non-profit and educational and research organization, which aims to increase knowledge of the five countries of North Africa, also known as the Maghreb: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania, as well as Egypt and the Sudan-Sahel area.